Dipping my brush back in the water   ( a simple tulip )

Dipping my brush back in the water ( a simple tulip )

As many of you know , I have been recovering from a recent operation, slowly feeling my way back to feeling more normal again. This lovely Spring sunshine that is bathing the UK at the moment is really helping make me feel things are healing well. I know things are uncertain, and so many people are wondering how they will cope , with costs rising, and believe me I know very few of the answers. I do know however, that nature, going a  walk , everyday, being outside, does make things feel more manageable. 

So another milestone this week was managing my hill again, if I can walk up my hill, I feel I must be getting better.


I can now go out, feeling much lighter after my op. I feel I am over the worst heading in the right direction.

I met a good friend for a coffee and a chat on Tuesday, now isn't that the best therapy ? and was so thrilled to see my cards at our local garden centre, I never know where they might pop up

My Mid Devon is also waking up after it's winter slumbers, and although I live in a quiet village, that is really not on the way to anywhere, I am treated to views like this everyday


And so with all this new awakening, I thought I would dip my brushes back in the water ( so to speak), my first painting since the op and see what I could manage, a simple tulip seemed a good idea

First I drew it out.

I wanted to go for bright cheerful colours, now dowdiness today x

So beginning with one petal, I picked my brightest , cheeriest yellow, Indian yellow. Leaving a white highlight on the paper. I didn't wet the petal first.

Then while the yellow paint is still wet....


I added cadmium orange, at the base, and then cadmium red, let the colours bleed into each other.

Now while the petal dries I began on the stem. Lemon yellow first this time, then sap green and then a darker green with blue added.


Now I can work on the left hand petal in the same way I did the first one , remember to leave some white highlights.

And now I can work on the right hand petal. Darker at the base then moving up the petal getting lighter.

Now we are working inside the tulip. This is a little trick you can use on most paintings. The top of the petals we have just painted are the lightest. As we paint inside the tulip, the darkest tones will go next to the lightest tones. If you put really dark tones next to really light ones the light tones look even lighter. 

You want it dark towards the bottom again, as if you are looking into the tulip.

Be bold and use wet in wet, and to get a darker red inside the tulip add a touch of cobalt blue.

Now all I need to do is paint the leaves.

Very quickly using different shades of green and yellow. My first painting since my op is done, they said no heavy lifting.....but I think my paint brushes are manageable.

Now i might just have a little rest , a cup of tea and a stroll around the garden , see if any tulips are starting to pop up x


Back to blog


Glad you are recovering…and Love you paintings….and tutorials ….Simple and gorgeous…Thank you …I am from MONTANA USA


Je vous souhaite un prompte rétablissement. Je viens de découvrir vos peintures, elles sont magnifiques et pleines de poésies. Merci de votre partage.


that’s very pretty, I like painting them too, have noted your tips which are helpful, thanks for sharing your technique (not all artists are so generous) – I hope your surgery continues to heal well – being in nature is the best way to nurture yourself.


Beautiful tulip 🌷 Mine are in clusters in flowerpots & enjoying watching their early development stage. Take care & love your work x

Sheila Thomson

Thank you for your generosity in sharing your tutorials. Glad you are feeling better

Margaret Sutton

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